Lead Mining Archives


Lead Mining Archives


A collection of documents, maps and manuscripts relating to the lead mining heritage of Keld and Upper Swaledale


Keld Resource Centre



Collection Items

Image from 'The Yorkshire Lead Mine' feature in the Oxford Magazine, London 1771
Image depicts the Beldi Hill Trials between Lord Pomfret and Thomas Smith over mining rights in the Beldi Hill area.

The Swaledale Mining Field
Document explaining how lead ore came to present in the hills of Swaledale

Early Period of Mining in Swaledale
A description of early mining activity in Swaledale before the 16th Century

Lead mining in the 16th & 17th Century
Document detailing how the lead mining industry expanded throughout the 16th & 17th century in Swaledale.

Lead Mining in the 18th Century
How the lead industry developed in Swaledale throughout the 18th century, including the bitter disputes between rival companies that resulted in the Beldi Hill trials.

Beldi Hill Trial
An account of the famous Beldi Hill Trial between Lord Pomfret and Thomas Smith over mining and land ownership rights. The trials ran from 1769 - 1772

Arngill & West Stonesdale Mines
Information regarding two small mining sites in Upper Swaledale

Beldi Hill & Swinnergill Mines
Historical information relating to the Beldi Hill & Swinnergill mining complex in Upper Swaledale.

Gunnerside Gill Lead Mines
Historical information on the lead mines of Gunnerside Gill.

Old Gang and Surrender Mines
Historical information on the Old Gang and Surrender mines in Swaledale

Spout Gill lead mines
Historical information relating to the Spout Gill lead mines in Swaledale

Lane End & Keldside Mines
Historical information on the Lane End and Keldside mines in Upper Swaledale

The Life of a Lead Miner
Information on what life was like for a lead miner including living conditions, religion and leisure pursuits.

Working Conditions & Health of Lead Miners
Information on the typical working conditions for lead miners and the subsequent impact on their health

Swaledale Mining Families
Profiles of two Swaledale mining families

Methods of Mining
Information on the various methods used to extract led ore from the ground

Dressing the Ore
The processes used to prepare the extracted ore ready for smelting. This process was called 'dressing' the ore.

The Smelting Process
Information on the smelting techniques used by the mining companies to convert the mined galena ore into the final lead bars ready for sale

Lead Prices
Extract from John Parke's journal showing lead prices from 1768 - 1771.
And prices paid in 1870 -1873.

Beldi Hill Trial - A Personal Account
Extracts from John Parke's journal from 1769 - 1772 describing the events in Swaledale during the disputes and trials between Lord Pomfret and Thomas Smith. John Parkes and Company had leased mining ground from Thomas Smith and this ground was the…
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